Uber Planning to Enter Truck Industry

Uber Planning to Enter Truck Industry

Ride-hailing firm Uber is moving beyond taxi services and self-driving rides to enter the long-haul trucking business as a potential freight hauler and technology partner. The business recently acquired self-driving truck start-up firm Otto to help it pursue this goal.

The San-Francisco based group has already started putting ideas forward to shippers, truck fleets and independent drivers. While Otto’s main focus was on trucks with self-driving technology, Uber is planning to offer extra services such as brokering between truck fleets and shippers.

As fully autonomous truck operations are still quite some way off, Uber’s plan is to first establish itself as a dependable freight hauling brand and then use the self-driving technology to its advantage when it is ready. The Uber-Otto deal is all about collated efforts to develop technologies that involve navigation, mapping and tracking, which can be deployed even as work progresses on self-driving systems.

It has also been reported that Uber wants to transform the trucking sector, which is currently highly fragmented, into a $700 billion a year organised sector. The firm will have to face competition from a number of players in the industry ranging from established ones and publicly traded businesses to local pop-up trucking companies.

Uber’s diversification plans from the initial taxi-hailing firm into ventures such as food delivery and truck businesses stem from the growing competitive environment in the ride-hailing industry. The firm may be the current leader among ride-hailing apps throughout the world; however it does not solely want to depend on income from only that business, according to reports.

Meanwhile, Uber Technologies Inc. is also planning to launch its food-delivery business in Tokyo on Thursday, preparing for a gradual rollout across Japan—a country where its main ride-hailing business is barred.

In a city where good restaurants are plentiful but delivery isn’t always available, UberEats bicycle couriers will carry dishes from more than 150 restaurants whose offerings range from inexpensive comfort food to high-end Michelin-starred fare.

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